[Episode 70] Using Training To Present More Masculine

by | Sep 17, 2021


Before I jump into today’s episode I have some exciting news to announce. We’re making some big changes at Non Gendered Fitness!

And the biggest one is a change to our name.

Why you might be wondering? Well when we started our business 5 years ago and back then, we didn’t really know what we were doing.

And at the time we thought our name was great! But, we have always had to explain our name and explain what we do because it’s really not clear from the name “Non Gendered Fitness”.

Not to mention folks always get the name a little wrong. We get mistaken with “The Fearless Movement”, “Fearless Collective”, “The Movement Collective”.

So we have decided that to keep things clear and simple for everyone and to help more folks find us and feel confident that what we do can help them, we are changing our name.


From October our business will be *Non Gendered Fitness* – just like the podcast. Seriously, our podcast has always had a far radder name than our training business. Plus it’s pretty clear with the name exactly what we’re about too!


If you aren’t familiar with the name of our training business, that’s ok. It means nothing much will be different for you.

On top of that, we’re becoming a bad arse Trans owned and operated company! This change to our business structure won’t make a difference to you, our listeners at all.

I’m still gonna be here sharing my thoughts and knowledge about training and supporting trans bodies. And we are still gonna be giving folks the same standard of care and training in our business too.

The big bonus of becoming a company is that it gives us access to government grants that weren’t available to us as a partnership. Which is how we used to operate.

This means we can get funding to deliver more training and support for the TGD community.

Because we get that not everyone has a stable income or the privilege to afford access to support that can help them with their physical and mental health.

To celebrate this we are also giving away free access to our online training studio for all folks that are joining us to train either with one of our programs or our 7 or 14 day trial. 

We’re also giving folks that sign up in September a sweet deal on their subscriptions, because from October 1st, we are having to increase our prices to keep up with the costs of running our business as it keeps growing.

I know this is alooooot of information. And I’m gonna put all the info in the show notes so you can pop in and read through all the details, in case you’re interested in trying us out. Or just wanna learn a bit more about everything.

Finally before I get into the episode, I want to thank you for listening to my show. Thank you if you’ve supported our business and joined our training crew or tried some of our training.

Our goal is to help TGD folks around the world find ways to support their bodies, affirm their identities and connect with themselves through movement.

And if it wasn’t for the support that our community continually gives us, we wouldn’t be where we are today.



Using Training To Present More Masculine

Listen to the podcast episode…

In this episode we will be looking at ways that you can train that can help you present more masculine.

Meaning building muscle mass, whether that’s lean muscle or bulkier muscles. Because there is a big difference between the two. But regardless of which type you have, having muscles that are visible are generally gonna mean you’ll be read as more masculine.

Before we get into this though, I am gonna highlight the total BS that comes with this assumption of masculine presentation requiring muscles.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve trained to build lean muscle mass myself. Because it has helped me feel most myself. And initially it was to be read as less feminine.

However, the longer I’ve been exploring my gender identity and who I am, the more I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t matter how I’m perceived by others.

Because muscles on their own are neither masculine or feminine and that is why any person can grow muscles.

The perception of masculinity on muscles is a social construct.

There are plenty of cis women out there who are muscular and still feminine. SO please keep this in mind as we continue with this episode.

Perceptions of masculinity and femininity are a social construct. Any person’s body, regardless of how it looks, can be feminine or masculine.

And at the end of the day, doing what helps you feel good about yourself is far better than trying to fulfil the stereotypes pushed on to us by a society that cares more about conformity than anything else.



Perspective and its influence on training to appear masculine

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way though, let’s look at this a little further. Because there are many folks out there who do want to build more muscle in the hopes of being seen as less feminine.

And this is totally valid and there is nothing wrong with this desire. As I said, it was part of my training goals when I began training.

“How do you train to look more masculine?”

This is a question I’ve had so many folks ask me and also seen pop up so many times online as well.

And the truth is, this is all dependent on your own perception of masculine.

Because for some people it may mean building big bulky muscles while for someone else it could mean looking lean and muscular.

Neither is wrong. They are perfect if this is the look that you find most validating.

So it’s important to get clear on your idea of what a masculine physique is. This makes it easier to work towards.
Because when it comes to actually building the physique you want, they are done very differently. And it’s really important to understand that.

I see a lot of folks giving advise like, “just train a whole bunch and run a lot” or “you should swim because that’ll build your shoulders and chest” or “just lift weights and every few weeks! That’ll make them heavier”.

And sure, doing these things is likely to make some changes happen, especially if you haven’t been very active for a while, or at all.

But pretty quickly, just doing stuff is gonna stop working for you.



Working out smarter saves a lot of work!

I know I’ve talked about ways you can train a while back now, in Episode 24 and Episode 26. You can check them out right here where you’re listening to this podcast episode. Or anywhere else you may get your podcasts from.

Because there are numerous ways that you can build a physique that is more muscular and therefore help you be read in a more masculine way.

The important thing to know is that whatever way you decide to train, it’s really important that there is a structure in place that is actually helping you train in the right way to get you where you want to be.

This means that finding someone who knows what they are doing can be ultra helpful. As helpful as folks try to be in the multitude of threads online giving people training advice. There’s much more to it than just training heaps.

I’ve had so many folks reach out to me saying they’ve tried training but just don’t seem to be able to get to where they want to be.

And it’s always because the program they follow isn’t designed to help them get where they want to be.

A well structured program and consistency are the most important combination. And being really clear on your training goal on top of this.

Because there are gonna be times when you really aren’t gonna feel like training, or life stuff is gonna happen. And it’s these times that knowing why you’re training and what it means to you will help you stick with it long term to achieve your goals.

As it’s gonna take time to reach that final outcome. You’re looking at, at least 12 months. But honestly if you wanna maintain any physique you develop, you’ll be training for your whole life.


Two People from the show Instant Family explaining that "It takes time"


What does all this look like exactly?

So it’s really important firstly to get that clear idea of how you may wanna look. And it’s important to be realistic too.

Because if you’re wanting to train to build bulk, you’re gonna need to be able to commit a minimum of 3 days a week for at least 60-90 minutes each session.

But really, if you’re wanting to see results sooner, you’re more likely gonna need to train 5 days a week.

And you’re gonna be working through 10-12 exercises each session, all targeting specific muscle groups. All the while, staying within a rep range of between 6 and 12 reps at a weight that’s heavy enough to leave just a rep or two in the tank at the end of each set.

I’ve said that in a pretty general sense because it’s gonna be different for everyone, depending on where you’re starting at and also how your body adapts to your training.

If on the other hand you’re wanting to build lean muscle mass, it’s gonna involve a completely different way of training.



I’m gonna be honest, the best way that I’ve found to do this is with kettlebell training. And not just on myself but with every client that I’ve taught kettlebells too.

Kettlebell training for lean mass involves working in a rep range of 10-15 reps with a weight that’s manageable based on your form and technical abilities. And overall accumulating a volume of reps in the 100’s or more per session. What’s not to find fun in that!

Now, kettlebell training is not a style that allows you to go straight to heavy weights. And gaining lean muscle mass comes from earning the techniques.

The beauty of kettlebell training is that not only will you build lean muscle, you also develop epic muscle endurance at the same time. Which means not only do you look muscular, but you can back it up with strength that lasts.

If you’re not keen on kettlebells, though I don’t know why you wouldn’t be, it’s also very possible to build lean muscle with dumbbells and barbells.

So that may give you some perspective on what it will actually take training wise to achieve a physique that your feel affirms you.

And it’s all totally possible of course, but what I’m really trying to highlight here is that it can be a big commitment. It’s more of a lifestyle really.



At the end of the day, yeah it’s a lot of work!

Now I get committing to training in this way, may really not be everyone’s jam. I’m not gonna lie, it takes a lot of effort and dedication.

And it’s totally ok if you don’t wanna change your whole lifestyle. You can still move your body and train in the ways that feel right for you and see changes and build muscle.

Just because you may follow a less intense program, doesn’t mean you’re not gonna get stronger, leaner and more muscular. It may just take a little longer and may not be to the same extent in development as folks who train longer or more frequently.

Regardless of how you want to move your body, anything that you end up doing will have a hugely positive impact on your body.

And sometimes just starting and doing something is the most important thing. So even if you have the goals, don’t feel like you’ve gotta do everything all at once.

Find a way that you can start, that feels good for you and as you get more comfortable and confident explore new ways that you can train or do things differently.

The most important thing is to make whatever you do achievable for you, however that looks.



Closing Recap

We’ve touched on a lot today.

  • I shared some pretty exciting news with you about the changes we are making at Non Gendered Fitness. Before we dived into looking at how you can use training to present more masculine by first figuring out, what masculine means to you and how that may look for you.
  • We broke down the basics of how training for mass gain and lean muscle are structured. Because they are both very different and depending on how you train, you’re gonna get some pretty significant differences in outcomes.
  • We looked at the most important thing about any training, which is making it realistic and achievable for you. Regardless of what your training goals are, any way you train has to help you feel good and it must be achievable.


I can not emphasise that enough. And what is achievable may be different at different points of time. And that is totally ok. Always work with where you’re at.

Until next week friend remember, you can train any way that you like. And regardless of how that may look, you are gonna to see a difference in yourself. So don’t feel like you need to do everything all at once.

Keep it realistic and keep it achievable. Training is a long term practice not a sprint. Changes may not happen quickly, but they will happen when you stick with it.

Bowie Stover Thinking Pose

Bowie Stover

Pronouns: they/them

My passion to help others through developing an active and healthy lifestyle, along with my desire to contribute as much as I can back to our queer community, has led me to co-found Non Gendered Fitness. To be a small part of your day that makes a HUGE impact on your life would be one of the most gratifying and rewarding experiences that I could hope to have.

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Get in touch

Got any questions about this episode?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you!

Would you like to learn about how we may be able to support you?
Feel free to go to our contact page and send us a message.

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Jump in and try out our 7 day free trial.



You can also find me (Bowie), Non Gendered Fitness (NGF) and Non Gendered Fitness (NGF) on instagram and Facebook at the links below.

Bowie: @the.no.t.enbie
NGF: @non_gendered_fitness



Non Gendered Fitness FB Page

Non Binary Fitness Coach Bowie Stover kneeling with two kettlebells

Bowie Stover
Kettlebell and Movement Coach

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